University of Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa Online Master of Social Work, Iowa

Why University of Northern Iowa?

The. university of Northern Iowa, a large public university in Cedar Falls, Iowa, offers the online version of its Master of Social Work degree only to applicants residing in Iowa and adjoining states (MO, NE, KS, OK, AR, TN, KY, IL).  No specific undergraduate degree is required of applicants, but they should demonstrate successful completion of an undergraduate statistics course with a minimum grade of C. 

Standardized test scores are not required, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00  is expected.  

Program Snapshot

University Name University of Northern Iowa
Location Cedar Falls
State Iowa
Niche.com Grade B+
Name of Degree Master of Social Work
School or Department Administering Program Department of Social Work
Credits 60
Cost per credit $517.00
Tuition for Entire Program $31,020
Test Requirements No
Minimum GPA 3.00
Prerequisite Courses and Skills Statistics course from an accredited institution with a minimum grade of C
Campus Visit Required? No Visit Required
Typical Time to Complete 3 years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall
Program Concentrations Advanced Clinical Practice and Policy, Planning and Administration in Human Services
Synchronous Classes No
Required Courses
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment Micro
  • Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities
  • Social Work Practice I and II
  • Social Intervention: Policies and Services
  • Foundation Practicum I and II
  • Foundation Practicum Seminar I and II
  • Principles and Strategies for Self-Care, Health, and Well-Being
  • Primary and Secondary Trauma
  • Systems Redesign and Community Collaboration
  • Introduction to Social Work Research
  • Trauma Informed Practice I and II
  • Advanced Social Work Research
  • Grant Writing, Fund Raising, Contracting, and Marketing
  • DSM V: Balancing Strengths and Differential Diagnosis
  • Trauma Informed Practice Practicum I and II
  • Trauma Informed Practice Practicum Seminar I and II 
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? Yes
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Must Live in MO, IA, NE, KS, OK, AR, TN, KY, IL; cohort model where students move through program together; trauma-informed curriculum; required courses in systems redesign and grant writing, fund raising, contracting, and marketing
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) develop the social work specialization workforce in under-served areas of Iowa with a focus on individuals who have barriers or challenges with on-campus attendance
Program Description Offered only to students residing in Iowa or adjoining states, this online Master of Social Work program is aimed at developing social workers in underserved areas of Iowa. Taught through a cohort model, this lower-cost, 60-credit program focuses on a trauma-informed approach to social work. A capstone is not required but students complete a compulsory internship. 

What will I Learn?

The emphasis throughout the program is develop the social work specialization workforce in under-served areas of Iowa with a focus on individuals who have barriers or challenges with on-campus attendance. The curriculum follows the objectives set by the Council on Social Work Education, training graduates who are ethical professionals engaged in social, economic and environmental justice issues. Graduates are expected to use research, evidence and assessment in serving individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.

Students lay the groundwork for their practice as social workers in required courses in Human Behavior and the Social Environment Micro and Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities. Practical approaches are taught in Social Work Practice I and II, and Social Intervention: Policies and Services.  The required Foundation Practicum I and II courses are accompanied by seminars to discuss and elucidate practicum experiences.  Students focus on particular problems in Principles and Strategies for Self-Care, Health, and Well-Being, and Primary and Secondary Trauma. The organizational aspects of being a social worker are addressed in required courses in Systems Redesign and Community Collaboration and Grant Writing, Fund Raising, Contracting and Marketing.  Key skills for intervention are covered in Trauma Informed Practice and II, as well as DSM V: Balancing Strengths and Differential Diagnosis. Students gain research skills in Advanced Social Work Research. Advanced practicum courses take a Trauma Informed approach in Trauma Informed Practice Practicum I and II and accompanying seminars.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 3 years and pay $517.00 per credit for a total of 60 credits, or just over $31,000.

How does the program fit into my life?

This program follows the “cohort model” of online education in which a group, or cohort of students enters the program at the same time and then follows the same sequence of courses together. This model offers predictability and a greater opportunity to get to know your classmates. Some students may find this model offers too little flexibility. All courses in this program are offered asynchronously, and can be completed on the student’s own schedule. The program is completed in 3 years. 

Summary

This program is available only to residents of Iowa and surrounding states, and its aim is explicitly to train social workers equipped for the needs of underserved communities in Iowa. A comprehensive generalist curriculum is strengthened by the inclusion of two required courses on key topics in the management aspect of social work practice: grant writing and fund raising, and systems redesign and community collaboration. The cost of this program is lower than some comparable programs, and some students may find the cohort model of instruction particularly attractive due to predictability and a built-in opportunity to build connections with community.